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Musicians Kid Rock (left) and Zac Brown perform a song for service members, including Marines and sailors with Regimental Combat Team 5, aboard Al Asad Air Base, Iraq, Dec. 19. The musicians are part of a USO tour for service members deployed overseas during the holidays. Fellow musician Kellie Pickler and comedians Lewis Black, Kathleen Madigan, John Bowman and Tichina Arnold also performed for the service members.::r::::n::

Photo by Gunnery Sgt. Jason Bortz

USO show ‘Rocks’ Al Asad

19 Dec 2008 | Lance Cpl. Paul Torres

Service members here had the opportunity to laugh and rock out to comedians Lewis Black, Kathleen Madigan, John Bowman and musicians Tichina Arnold, Zac Brown, Kellie Pickler and Kid Rock Dec. 19.

This is the seventh stop on a holiday tour the group has been performing with the United Service Organization. 

Among the service members in the audience were Marines and sailors with Regimental Combat Team 5 who are nearing the end of their yearlong deployment to Iraq.

“I have been a fan of (Kid Rock) for a while, and I think it is cool of him to come out here and do shows like this,” said Cpl. Robert S. Davis, 20, from Fairmont, W. Va., who is a tactical networking specialist with Regimental Combat Team 5.  “I am actually learning some of his songs on guitar, so I am pretty stoked to get to see him live. Plus, it is a nice way to end a deployment.”

This is the fourth consecutive holiday season Kid Rock has toured with the USO to bring a little cheer to troops who are deployed.

“I can think of a lot of places I would love to be, but I come over here because it is the right thing to do, and the only cameras I care to be in front of are the ones I am in front of right now, yours,” said Kid Rock before launching into one of his hit singles, “All Summer Long.” 

“First of all, I love to play and I love to sing, and I will come back to play for you as long as you’re here,” said Kid Rock to the crowd of service members.

Country musician Kellie Pickler sang her hit single “Red High Heels” and even interrupted her rendition of “9 to 5” to invite one lucky Marine to the front of the stage. The Marine had been holding a sign that said, “All I want for Christmas is a kiss from Kellie Pickler.”  The Marine got his wish.

“My grandfather was a Marine and he was the one who raised me, so he was excited when he heard I was coming out here,” said Pickler.

Pickler decided to tour with the USO after finding out about it from a fellow country music star.

“I heard about Toby Keith doing a USO tour, so I talked to my manager and did what I could to make it out here,” said Pickler.

For over an hour, the musicians and comedians entertained the service members and brought laughter and cheer to the Marines, sailors, soldiers and airmen who are spending this holiday away from loved ones.  The group of entertainers will spend the rest of the holiday season performing for more service members overseas.

“I’d like to thank the USO for bringing us here,” said Black.  “Most of all, we would like to find all the words we could possibly tell you about how much we care about you.  Thank you for who you are and what you do.”


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